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Reduction of salary is morally unjustified, APC tells Okowa

All Progressive Congress (APC) Delta state chapter has said that reduction of civil servants salary at time workers needed money more than any thing with the COVID-19 pandemic is morally unjustifiable, describing it cruel and irresponsible.

Spokesman of All Progressive Congress (APC) Delta state Sylvester Imonina, Esq., said, “The welfare and well-being of the citizenry is the primary goal of every responsible government and this is clearly stipulated in Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, notwithstanding that it is non justiciable. In other words, Democratic Government is supposed to be a “Government of the people, for the people and by the people”.

“It is on the above premise that the All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State, condemns in totality the pharaonic leadership style of Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. It is very unfortunate that despite the hue and cry of Civil Servants and members of the public, Delta State Government has gone ahead to wickedly reduce the salaries of Civil Servants in the State to the previous minimum wage of #18,500.00 (Eighteen Thousand, Five Hundred Naira).

“Without any air of equivocation, we state that the said reduction was/is uncalled for! It is not only unlawful but morally wrong/unjustifiable. It is illegal because the new minimum wage of #30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand Naira) is a product of a valid and subsisting Act of the National Assembly and binding on Delta State Government; same having been adopted by the State as the template for the payment of Civil Servants.

“Aside the above, there is a subsisting revised 2020 Budget of the State, validly passed by the State House of Assembly immediately the Covid-19 restriction was relaxed in the State. In the said Budget, the areas that have to do with capital projects were reviewed/reduced. Meanwhile, the areas concerning personnel cost were not touched. The implication is that the State Government knew abnitio that the State was financially buoyant to the extent of taking care of salaries of Civil Servants, hence no changes were made thereon. So why the unholy reduction now!”

According to him, “The law is very clear on issues of infractions of laws validly passed by the House of Assembly. When a Governor contravenes same, it could be a good ground for legal/Constitutional sanctions. Therefore, the State Governor should stop standing on the wrong side of the law. He should not allow posterity to judge him poorly.

“It is the position of Delta APC that the reduction of workers’ salaries is morally wrong and unjustifiable. From available information and evidence, it is our belief that the State can continue to pay workers’ salaries without qualms. Our position is lend credence to and fortified by the actions of the State Government in the governance of the State. For instance, it is a known fact that Delta State is not short of Churches and/ or place(s) of practice of religious obligations. It is therefore preposterous to budget the sum of #400Million for the take off of the building of an Ecumenical Centre in Asaba. How does such undertaking add economic value to the standard of living in the State, considering the fact that this is the period that infrastructural developments/investments are needed most in the State!” He lashed the governor.

We concede to the fact that Deltans are very religious people but considering the fact that times are not too friendly, it is unfair to initiate such project at this point in time.

Continuing “Also, there is no evidence of reduction of the State Governor’s security votes, synonymous with what Deltans call, “oshofree monies”, because of the fact that same is not accounted for. Is it only the Civil Servants and the commoners that are worthy and/ or in a position to make sacrifices?

“A Kobo matters a lot to the life of every Civil Servant. Hence, in 1997, when the Military Governor of Delta State reduced/deducted the sum of #100.00 (One Hundred Naira) from each workers’ salaries, the then seasoned Labour Union leaders kicked against it. The Military Governor with all his enormous powers bowed to the demands of Labour. In a democracy like ours, an elected Governor should as a matter of honour waste no time in listening to the voice of his workforce and his people.

“Presently, prices of goods and services are above the reach of an average Civil Servant and commoners. The reduction in salaries of Civil Servants have now subjected them into eating bread of sorrow! A labourer surely deserves his wage.

“Delta APC therefore calls on the State Governor to change his pharaonic leadership style and apply good conscience to his actions. Civil Servants are hungry. There is a popular saying that “a hungry man is an angry man”. Our people must not die of starvation and other things connected to it such as curable illnesses.” The Statement added.

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